PHP Float Glass Industries, a concern of PHP Family, has started manufacturing reflective glass for the first time with plans to export it on meeting local demand.
Reflective glass is a type of standard glass that has a thin layer of metallic or metallic oxide coating. This reflective coating is applied during the float process to enhance the amount of heat reflected by the glass
Using reflective glass on the exterior of a building allows natural light inside while reflecting a portion of solar radiation, which limits heat penetration and thereby the need for air conditioning, making it energy efficient.
Climate change is raising average temperatures in Bangladesh, for which yearly local demand for reflective glass has increased to around 15,000 tonnes, all met with imports.
Set up with an investment of Tk 300 crore at Mirsarai in Chattogram, the PHP manufacturing unit has a capacity to produce 150 tonnes of reflective glass per day making use of Japanese and Chinese technology.
"We started commercial production of reflective glass last week after successful trial production," said Mohammed Amir Hossain, managing director, PHP Float Glass Industries.
He said the raw material they were using was sand of the Feni river, meaning it was wholly local. A sand washing plant has also been set up in Sitakunda.
Initially, sand was decided to be imported from Japan but the company said to have found out that the Feni river's sand met their production requirements.
According to Hossain, they were the first to produce float glass in Bangladesh in 2005, helping to cut down imports.
Float glass is a sheet of glass made by floating molten glass on a bed of molten metal, typically tin, although lead and other various low-melting-point alloys were used in the past. This method gives the sheet uniform thickness and very flat surfaces.
Modern windows are made from float glass.
PHP manufactures 150 tonnes of float glass a month in 10 colours, which it says to be doing away with the country's need to import Tk 50 crore of float glass per month.